The Delhi High court on Monday dismissed a petition seeking action against BS Bassi, who has just retired as Delhi police chief, for allegedly “influencing” the probe in the JNU sedition case, saying it had no time for a “publicity” stunt.
The court cannot be burdened with such applications, said the bench.
“Why did you file this petition? We are surprised that this is not for public interest but for publicity interest,” a bench of chief justice G Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath said as soon as hearing commenced.
The bench asked the petitioner the basis of his plea and allegations.
Referring to newspaper reports, the counsel appearing for petitioner Satish Pandey said the plea was based on Bassi’s statement widely published in the media.
To this, the bench said, “We will not go by the newspaper reports. The law is well settled. If you have any other material except these newspaper reports, you can tell us.”
During the brief hearing, the counsel said the petition was not for publicity and again referred to newspaper reports.
To this, the bench said, “We cannot burden this court with these kind of petitions. Except newspaper reports, we have not found any other material. The writ petition is dismissed”.
The bench said the Supreme Court was seized of the matter and the inquiry was pending.
The petition had alleged that Bassi’s statement that the police would not oppose JNUSU president Kanhaiya Kumar’s bail plea may influence fair and transparent investigation in the matter as well as court proceedings.
It had claimed that police was “playing at the hands of some political parties under whom Delhi Police was working” and said Bassi should be directed to clear his views on the statements given by him on February 16 and 17.
In his petition, Pandey had claimed that the investigating officer cannot probe the matter fairly in such a case when “undue influential pressure” is imposed by a high-ranking official such as the police commissioner.
He had sought a direction to prohibit Bassi from influencing the probe.
“Charges of sedition and criminal conspiracy against the accused are not an individual offence but a public offence and every citizen of the nation is affected,” he had claimed.
Besides Bassi, the petitioner had made Kanhaiya, the Centre and the Delhi government respondents.